Signs, signs, everywhere there's signs.

From: Bill Barowy (
Date: Thu Dec 16 2004 - 09:09:11 PST

"..dialogue is the genuine context in which signs evolve. The semiotic
activity has at least two sides: the generation of signs and the
interpretation of signs. All signs require two minds: (a) a quasi utterer,
and a (b) quasi interpreter (CP 4.551). Dialogicity is not only a special
human capacity but, far more, it is a constitutive condition of signs and of
the act of semiosis."

I think this is where semiotics, while preserving the constructive nature of
meaning making, departs radically from constructivism (a culture-free
individually-focussed epistemology) to account for a collective basis of
thought. "Mind is distributed" seems to be the buzzphrase, but it is more
than that - signs, in their evolution, have a history closely tied to
ontogenesis. As well as being dialogic, semiosis relies upon the history of
the interpretant, with whom interpretation is a
putting-into-relation-of-prior-signs. Ontogenesis is now a development of
the "semiotic self" and consequently developmental processes are

Semiosis is inherently dynamic, dependent over time: "Even in the most private
moment, thinking is dialogue between the self of the moment and the self of
the next moment"

And a solid methodology of semiotics is forthcoming (I've heard semiotic
approches termed "eclectic"): Peirce "failed to formulate the empirical
basis of the semiotic constitution...."

But I think I disagree with this: "The idea of a semiotic psychology is to
look at how signs actually function in intrapersonal and interpersonal
behavior. "

Isn't the nature of semiosis, by involving signs that are always cultural,
fundamentally and only interpersonal, never intrapersonal in the traditional
sense, no matter how private is the private moment?


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